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Sat, 01.10.1942

The ‘Lee Street Riot’ Occurs

Historic Plague

*On this date in 1942, the "Lee Street Riot" occurred. This was a confrontation between Black soldiers stationed in Alexandria, Louisiana, and the town's white residents.

This military regiment involved was the Army’s 367th, a Black regiment. Just one month after Pearl Harbor, violence burst in a pattern that would repeat itself many times in the years to follow, a Black soldier in town with a pass was accused of approaching a white woman. Police assaulted him and he and his friends fought back. Military police responded. People were killed and wounded, and the property was destroyed.  The Army report at the time characterized the situation as a police riot. But one local newspaper reporter said that the Army understated the severity of the so-called "Lee Street riot" and undercounted losses.

This minimization, some say was part of the often-repeated pattern. Some reported as many as 10 were killed. After the incident, the Army’s 367th was broken up in March 1942.

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